The Vietnam conflict began in the late nineteenth century. The French
conquered Vietnam and made it a protectorate. For nearly forty years,
Vietnam had not experienced settled peace. The League for the Independence
of Vietnam ( Viet Minh ) was formed in 1941, seeking independence from the
French. On September 2nd,1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed it independent of
France. The French opposed their independence from 1945 to 1954. The first
representatives of de Gualle's government landed by parachute in Saigon and
Hanoi on August 23rd, 1945. The French wanted to reestablish their rule in
Vietnam but were beaten at the battle of Dien Bien Phu on May 7th, 1954.
The French Expeditionary Force tried to prevent the Viet Minh from entering
Laos and Dien Bien Phu was the place chosen to do so. The French were not
very careful and this allowed the Viet Minh to cut off their airway to
Hanoi. After a siege that had lasted for fifty - five days, the French
surrendered. Ho Chi Minh led the war against France and won.
After the war there was a conference in Geneva where Vietnam was divided
into two parts along the seventeenth parallel. North Vietnam was mainly
Communist and supported Ho Chi Minh, while the south was supported by the
United States and the French were based there. There was still some
Communist rebels within South Vietnam. These were the Viet Cong. The South
Vietnam ruler was Ngo Dinh Diem who was anti - Communist. At the
conference, Laos and Cambodia became independent states.
North Vietnam wished to unify North and South Vietnam through military
force. Since the United States feared the spread of communism in Asia, John
F. Kennedy provided economic and military aid to South Vietman to prevent
the takeover by North Vietnam. At this...